In 2005, Marissa Manlove and her husband, Kim, were invited to be part of something very special—the planning of Indiana’s first recovery high school. Planning quickly turned into implementing, and one short year later Hope Academy opened its doors to its first class of students in makeshift classrooms on the site of the school’s soon-to-be campus. So, when we say Marissa has been with us since the very beginning, we mean it.
For the Manloves, their involvement with Hope Academy is personal and they have long been vocal ambassadors for removing the stigma of addiction and reducing barriers to treatment. Four years before the invitation to help plan for Hope Academy’s opening, tragedy struck their family. Marissa and Kim’s son, David, died in a drowning accident after using an inhalant to get high. Though they were still grieving the loss of their son, they wanted to be a voice to help others who were struggling.
“We welcomed the opportunity to be part of Hope’s planning,” said Marissa. “Who knows how things might have been different for David and our family if a school like Hope existed back then?”
In addition to their work with Hope Academy, the Manloves, along with three other sets of parents whose children struggled with substance use disorder, launched a nonprofit organization called The 24 Group in memory of David. The 24 Group focuses on education and awareness about substance use disorders and fundraises to provide grants to local addiction treatment and recovery support providers, specifically to help young adults who are struggling.
One thing is for certain, if there’s an addiction advocacy event happening in the community, Marissa and Kim will be in attendance. And if you have ever participated in a Hope Academy event, chances are, you’ve seen Marissa. In fact, she has attended every Hope Academy graduation since year one.
“Graduation is always so moving,” said Marissa. “It’s such a testament to the courage and persistence of the students, their families, and the whole Hope team and an embodiment of what “hope” stands for.”
Marissa has held several positions on the board, sat on every committee and currently serves as the board chair. In this leadership role, she serves as the official representative of the school board in all matters, including chairing all board meetings and other official actions of the board. The end of this month will conclude Marissa’s term as chair, but we know she will always be in Hope’s corner, and she will continue her service as a member of the board of directors.
“Hope changes lives,” said Marissa. “There is literally no other school that offers the depth and quality of support needed so students with substance use issues can achieve both academic and recovery success.”
Marissa believes the love, strength and commitment of the Hope community, including students and the entire staff, is what sets the recovery school apart.
We are grateful to have Marissa as part of the Hope Academy family, and we thank her for her dedication and leadership over the course of the last fifteen years.